#PerthGirlBoss 5: Shae Brown

Shae Brown may have been born in Melbourne but over here in the West we like to “adopt” amazing people and Shae is one of those people (lucky her, lucky us!) But seriously, we really do consider her one of our own, which is no surprise when Shae represents our state as an elite athlete for the West Coast Fever (that’s netball for those not in the know), her husband Mitch Brown plays for the West Coast Eagles and together they launched an active wear label based here in Perth, aptly named ONCE Upon a Run.

Whether it’s supporting her husband, creating new pieces for ONCE Upon a Run or playing elite netball, it is clear from the outset Shae does everything with passion and a love for life. To say Shae is one multi talented and extremely busy woman is an understatement. Here at Running in Chanel we get to know Shae Brown just that little bit more.

1. Your life is surrounded in sport (you play netball, your husband plays AFL) have you always grown up with a passion for sport in general, or was it just a passion for netball?

I grew up living and breathing sport. I tried absolutely everything from tennis to footy, to cross country running. I sort of fell into Netball as a career. I wasn’t aware that was even a career choice before I was flying all over the country side to represent different teams.

2. What is it about netball in particular that you love?

I love the friendships I have made through netball. The opportunities it has given me to travel and to live a lifestyle where I train and play sport for a living .

3. You have been a busy woman in the last 12 months – launching your athletics label ‘Once Upon a Run’, playing professional netball for the Fever and marrying your now husband Mitch Brown. How do you find time for all your different commitments?

It can be tricky at times but I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way. I feel very blessed to have been able to fit all into one year.

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Shae Brown during the West Coast Fever 2015 Season Photo: Daniel Wilkins

4. When you (finally) get some spare time what do you like to do?

Time with my husband is always precious no matter where in the world we are. I love the quote “this morning, having coffee, with her”, Johnny Cash’s answer to what his description of paradise would be. We are pretty simple. Give me good coffee and my husband and I am pretty happy.

5. Tell me more about ONCE Upon a Run – what was your decision behind starting your own label?

I guess training day in and day out for a living was giving me a fair idea of what I loved and loathed about certain sports wear. I was also studying fashion at Uni so I guess it seemed natural to join my love of comfortable active wear with my study. The other reason is I am a passionate person. And as I was getting a little older, I was beginning to realise netball wasn’t going to last forever and it scared the pants off me to think I wouldn’t be doing something I was as passionate about as netball. I absolutely LOVE my work at ONCE and is proving me with that passion.

6. What is it like starting a business with your husband?

Haha! The best! And occasionally the worst. But mostly the best. We love working on ONCE so it really doesn’t feel like work. And we try to make sure we don’t bring work home.

7. Who or what inspires you & your designs?

Comfort is by far the most important thing to our designs. We believe if you are comfortable in your work out gear you will be more likely to enjoy the experience of your exercise.

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Shae with husband Mitch Brown

8. ONCE Upon a Run caters for both males & females but who is the Once Upon a Run woman? (What kind of women do you design for?)

The ONCE customer is busy but makes time to exercise. They enjoy these moments in the day where they are undistracted by life. My muse, when I design, is a friend of mine. She is a mother. She is ridiculously cool and super effortless. I imagine her and what she does in her day. What her movement looks like.

9. Describe ONCE Upon a Run in 3 words:

Comfort in movement.

10. Many of the ONCE Upon a Run pieces could easily be styled away from the gym. When you create your designs do you have this thought in mind?

Absolutely and I am super pleased to hear that that comes through. While we encourage people to get outside and be active, we also believe movement comes in so many other forms. Whether we are rushing to pick the kids up from school or meeting friends for coffee after gym, ONCE is designed to take you from each part of your life seamlessly.

11. ONCE Upon a Run prices are so affordable. When creating the label was affordability a priority?

For sure. Active wear is the genre of clothes you are supposed to wear over and over again. They are your everyday essentials. You want to be able to throw them in the washing machine and not think twice. Then when you feel you need new gear, you don’t need to question it because it is so affordable.

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Shae Brown in ONCE Upon a Run

12. What is your favourite piece from ONCE Upon a Run – why?

So tough to choose just one. Although the stand out at moment would be be our newest tight, the Downward Woof. They are the first of our collection that has been made in Australia. The quality and comfort of the fabric is amazing. I seriously have to try not to wear them everyday. Every morning I think, “Shae, mix it up”… But then I think… “But these are so bloody comfy”. The battle is real.

13. When you are away from the netball court what does your everyday style look like?

I have to say I am a bit of a tomboy at heart. I have a very relaxed, easy style. My wardrobe consists of ONCE (obviously), my bestie Tash Butler’s label Bruug and HEAPS of sneakers. Mainly Nike. But also New Balance, Converse, Adidas and a couple cheeky pairs of Isabel Marants.

14. Finally, what are your future plans, ventures or ambitions for yourself personally and for ONCE Upon a Run?

I am a dreamer. Always the one to come up with ridiculously wild ideas and think that they are all possible. Mitch will always be the one bring me back down to Earth and quietly steer me in the direction of a more realistic goal. So if it was up to me we would be opening a ONCE store in every city around the world. Maybe one day. For now we are just enjoying learning and growing into this industry. Enjoy each day and see where it lands us. Perhaps with a flagship ONCE store in the not to distant future.


If you love your active wear as much as I do, make sure you check out ONCE Upon a Run (that’s if you haven’t already!) Also make sure to support Shae and the West Coast Fever in the upcoming 2016 netball season – memberships are now available to purchase from WestCoastFever.com.au

JB xx

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